Most assume that if a woman or girl is being pressured or forced to abort, that she will have the right or option of saying “no” at the clinic and be given the help she needs. But the truth is that vulnerable women and girls can’t count on clinics to help.
For example, Operation Rescue found last year that a Kansas abortion business was using forms that were pre-printed to indicate that no abuse reports had been filed for patients:
Abortion clinic documents now securely in Operation Rescue’s possession show that Central Family Medical, also known as Aid for Women, uses pre-printed forms that are filed with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) indicating that no abuse reports are ever filed.
The records were discovered after the clinic illegally dumped hundreds of documents that included patient intake forms:
Aside from the mass violation of the privacy rights of women and Federal laws protecting private patient information, the pre-printed KDHE forms were most troubling.
Evidence included several forms. One form was pre-printed with all patient information left blank. One document contained the pre-printed information only on a blank page, and other forms were filled in with Patient Identification numbers and the dates of their abortions. Every form had a pre-printed “No” box marked next to question number 15: “Was report of physical, mental, or emotional abuse or neglect filed pursuant to K.S.A. 38-2223.”
“Central Family Medical has predetermined that no woman walking through their doors will have been the victim of abuse,” said [Operation Rescue President Troy] Newman. “That places women, especially minor girls, at risk of being handed back to their abusers where they will suffer further harm. That alone is a betrayal of these vulnerable women and deserving of closure and criminal charges.”
An even more blatant case of overlooking forced abortions was buried in the pages of the Grand Jury Report on Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and largely overlooked in media reports on his case. On page 269 (Appendix B) is a copy of a form entitled “Anesthesia for Surgery,” which was given to patients. The top of the form reads:
It will probably be best to pay the extra money and be more comfortable if some of the following conditions are true for you.
1. The decision to have the procedure is a difficult one.
2. Medication is usually necessary for your menstrual cramps.
3. Your decision has been forced by your parents or partner.
4. Your family members or friends don’t like pain.
It’s followed by a list of options for sedation and the cost for each, which were handwritten. The price for extra sedation — which is encouraged at the top of the form for victims of forced abortion — ranges from $50 to $150 and is not included in the cost of the abortion.
Not only was Gosnell apparently willing to perform forced abortions, but he also attempted to make extra money off them by encouraging women and girls who were being coerced or forced — or even those who felt conflicted over the abortion — to pay extra for a higher level of anesthetic.
The Grand Jury noted in the report (pgs. 56-57):
We are particularly appalled by the reference in the form to a decision being “forced” on a patient by a partner or parents. A legitimate practitioner would never perform forced abortions. Gosnell would and did. As long as he was paid, the patient’s wishes or circumstances were not his concern.
Indeed, research and anecdotal evidence shows that forced abortions do happen with distressing regularity. For example, a survey of women in post-abortion support groups found that 63 percent said they felt forced into the abortion by someone else. And a survey of American and Russian women in the general population who had abortions found that 64 percent of American respondents reported being pressured by others to abort, and more than 50 percent reported feeling rushed or uncertain about the abortion.
In addition, more than 80 percent reported that they received inadequate counseling beforehand, 79 percent said they were not informed about alternatives to abortion and 67 percent said they received no counseling at all.
This certainly suggests that, rather than help explore the reasons why women are having abortions and, at the very least, offer help and resources to those who are facing an unwanted or coerced abortion, clinics are all too willing to look the other way and even aid and abet those who are coercing them. And, in Gosnell’s case, making extra money while doing so.